NPR journalist shares views on changing media

GVL / Marissa Dillon 
Scott Simon

GVL / Marissa Dillon Scott Simon

Audra Gamble

Scott Simon, host of the National Public Radio show “Weekend Edition,” spoke Monday at Grand Valley State University as part of the Fall Arts Celebration series.

Simon, a veteran journalist who has covered 10 wars, spoke about his views of storytelling and the future of how journalists tell others’ stories.

“The future of narrative is under scrutiny,” Simon said.

Simon spoke about tweeting from his mother’s bedside as she died, and he also spoke about the business of storytelling as a whole.

While, according to Simon, NPR just let 100 employees go, the desire to hear the stories of others is not going away any time soon.

“An unshared story is a stone that sits on the heart,” Simon said.

Simon is currently working on a new novel, documenting his experiences with the death of his mother.

Earlier in the day, Simon met with some of the GVSU journalism students and faculty for an informal question and answer session.

There, Simon spoke about the importance of journalism in society.

“(Journalism) is a very blessed occupation when you can do it for a living, because you get to be a part of other people’s lives,” he said.

Simon has reported from every continent on Earth, but he said that American journalism is still superior.

“(American) standards of objectivity, fairness and balance, this is something we do better than Europe,” Simon said. “Journalism challenges the audience, there’s still a lot of journalism to be done.”

However, Simon noted that traditional newspapers have lost ground. He asked the students where they thought they would get jobs, jokingly remarking that the real estate business looked profitable.

While Simon recognizes that the delivery of the news is changing, he still believes it will survive.

“For the moment, words and stories have still taken wing.”

Simon’s show is aired on Saturday mornings from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and may be heard on or by tuning in to the radio at 88.5 FM.

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